Cavan's Jack Brady and Ronan Flanagan celebrate after the game. INPHO/Morgan Treacy

4 point victory for Cavan over Armagh in Ulster showdown

Cian Mackey struck the only goal of the game so far for a Cavan team that were also inspired by attacker Martin Dunne.

Cavan 1-15
Armagh 1-11

CAVAN have made a fine start on home soil in the Ulster championship as they defeated Armagh in Kingspan Breffni Park this afternoon.

Full-forward Martin Dunne crowned his championship debut with a super attacking display as he shot over 0-9 to help Terry Hyland’s men advance to face Fermanagh at the quarter-final stage on June 16th.

Cian Mackey’s brilliant individual goal in the 23rd minute spurred Cavan on as he surged through the Armagh defence before finding the net to the delight of the home fans in the crowd of 12,556.

Armagh did fight back in the second-half when Ethan Rafferty shot to the net with 12 minutes to go to cut the gap to a single point, 1-10 to 1-9.

Yet they failed to build on that strike and were left to rue the decision of referee Maurice Deegan to disallow a Jamie Clarke second-half goal as he called the play back for a foul in the build-up to the score.

Dunne had emerged as a major threat for Cavan in the opening period as he shot over four points. Cavan lead by 0-3 to 0-1 by the 14th minute but then Armagh hit back to level up the game thanks to points from Tony Kernan and Caolan Rafferty.

Then Mackey fired to the net and Cavan finished the half strongly to extend their advantage with Dunne and Niall McDermott on the mark.

Both sides had been forced into late pre-match changes with Cavan replacing attacker Jack Brady with Killian Brady. While on the Armagh side, defender Finian Moriarty came in for Brendan Donaghy.

The Orchard County’s difficulties at the back were illustrated by the withdrawal of Moriarty in the 21st minute with Ethan Rafferty replacing him while Donaghy was introduced just before the interval for Declan McKenna to help shore up the defence.

Cavan opened in the second-half in a confident fashion with Eugene Keating, McDermott and Dunne all impressing in attack as they went seven points clear at one stage, 1-9 to 0-5.

However then Armagh fought back  helped by the point-taking of Aaron Kernan and Stefan Forker, and Rafferty’s powerful finish to the net.

With their lead cut to a point, Cavan’s situation looked precarious. But they held their nerve superbly to close out the game with Dunne in sparkling form up front as they claimed a four-point victory.

Armagh’s Jamie Clarke argues with referee Maurice Deegan after his goal was disallowed
Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Scorers for Cavan: Martin Dunne 0-9 (0-1f), Cian Mackey 1-0, Eugene Keating, Niall McDermott 0-2 each, Damien O’Reilly, James McEnroe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Armagh: Stefan Forker 0-4 (0-2f), Ethan Rafferty 1-0, Aaron Kernan (0-2f), Tony Kernan (0-1f) 0-2 each, Mark Shields,Caolan Rafferty, Eugene McVerry 0-1 each.

CAVAN: Conor Gilsenan (Bailieborough Shamrocks); Jason McLoughlin (Shannon Gaels), Rory Dunne (Redhills), Killian Clarke (Shercock); James McEnroe (Ramor United), Alan Clarke (Kingscourt), Ronan Flanagan (Castlerahan); Damien O’Reilly (Belturbet), David Givney (Mountnugent); Cian Mackey (Castlerahan), Killian Brady (Mullahoran), Feargal Flanagan (Butlersbridge); Niall McDermott (Ballinagh), Martin Dunne (Cavan Gaels), Eugene Keating (St Sylvester’s).

Subs: Martin Reilly (Killygarry) for Brady (47), Jack Brady (Ramor Utd) for McDermott (64), John McCutcheon (Cootehill) for O’Reilly (66).

ARMAGH: Philip McEvoy (Dromintee); Paul McKeown (Crossmaglen Rangers), Declan McKenna (Armagh Harps), Mark Shields (Whitecross); Aaron Kernan (Crossmaglen Rangers), Finian Moriarty (Wolfe Tones), Ciaran McKeever (St Pat’s Cullyhanna); James Lavery (Maghery), Stephen Harold (Carrickcruppen); Caolan Rafferty (Granemore), Ciaran O’Hanlon (Killeavy), Kevin Dyas (Dromintee); Tony Kernan (Crossmaglen Rangers), Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen Rangers), Stefan Forker (Maghery).

Subs: Ethan Rafferty (Grange) for Moriarty (21), Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore) for McKenna (32), Eugene McVerry (Mullaghbawn) for Forker (57), Gavin McParland (Ballymacnab) for Caolan Rafferty (66).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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